Monday, May 24, 2021


I am grateful for your comfort – glad to know that I’m not the only one who panics in this situation. My package of reporter’s notebooks, ordered for the purposes of bird-watching, arrived this afternoon and I at once started two lists, “Do” and “Pack”. One of the secrets of lists, I think, is to include a few simple and obvious tasks (e.g., “pack yarn”) just so that you can cross them off.


C. and I are going to Peebles tomorrow, where she says there is a shoe shop which may have what I need.


The weather forecasts this morning suggested that the present spell of Cold and Disgusting will end towards the weekend, to be replaced by Warm and Dry. Wouldn’t that be nice?


I treated myself to not having a walk this morning (delightful!) and made a good start on the packing. I tried to walk up and down the house during the day but have only reached 1947 steps which is not very good.




Shandy, I have looked up bonxies in my bird book, They sound thoroughly disagreeable but a serious possibility for a sighting in the area we are headed for.


Mary Jane, I am sure you are right, that doing things as you think of them is part of the secret of going away. Back in the days when my husband and I went to Kirkmichael once a month or so – and habit never made it entirely easy – that was my policy. The instant I thought of something that had to be done or packed, I did it.


Kirsten, an Italian cookery book is an excellent idea, although they tend to be rather expensive even for Kindle. I often sit over my iPad at the end of the day watching Italian cookery on YouTube, and have become enamoured of a chef called Antonino Cannavacciuolo. “Antonone” would be more appropriate. But the commenters say that his books are full of ingredients you can’t get and difficult operations. I am rather attracted by a simpler one attributed to Sofia Loren.


Jenny, don’t say things like that! No – someone is coming in to feed them.




I made a bit of progress today with the initial ribbing on the second Pairfect sock. Not much. Tamar, like you, I cast on on one needle. Actually, in my case, on two, held together, in the hopes of making the top of the sock a bit less tight. The trouble starts when I try to separate the stitches onto four needles after knitting one row. Needles seem to be flying everywhere. I’ve got them under control for this sock, but I feel there must be a better system.




I am finding the Cazalets (see yesterday) very comforting, and continue to have the occasional feeling that I’ve been here before. I’m glad to have you with me, Janet. I love family sagas, as a genre, and this is just what I need for this stressful week.


  1. A thought for casting on. I got fed up with the cast on being a bit too tight on socks and took to using a circular needle a couple of sizes larger to cast on all the stitches and then transferred them onto the sock needles. Stitch markers dividing each needle's quota was helpful. I think it was easier than two needles held together sounds to be. I use thumb method for nearly everything - my cast on is always very neat - often not the best way for it to be for comfort.

  2. Ellis-Lynn7:58 PM

    I cast on 25% more stitches than I need for the sock. Then I work a K2, P3 rib for about 2cm. At that point I decrease - K2, P1, P2tog. And then I just rib on as long as I want the cuff. I learned this from Lucy Neatby and I've never had a tight sock cuff since.

    1. This is brilliant, actually. I always cast on with a size 2 needle and work three rows then switch to the 0 to finish, but since I do K2P2 ribbing always, I could easily adopt this method and not have to find 4 #2s and then 4 Os (US sizing here). Thanks to you, Ellis-Lynn!

  3. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you.
    I'm sure they'll be quite fine.
    I had an acquaintance who left her three cats completely unattended for nine days. She left food and a drinking fountain and apparently they were quite fine when she returned.
    The thought just horrified me and I know I couldn't do this but will never have to.